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Louisiana coast still hurting from storms, bracing for more

CAMERON, La. — Scores of people in coastal Louisiana still live in campers on dirt mounds or next to cement slabs where their houses once stood. Unresolved insurance claims and a shortage of supply and labor are stymieing building efforts. And weather forecasters are warning of more possible devastation to come.

Nine months after two back-to-back hurricanes hammered their towns, residents are still struggling to recover — even as they brace for another onslaught of storms in the season that starts Tuesday.

“We’re scared to death for this next season,” said Clarence Dyson, who is staying with his wife and four kids in a 35-foot-long (11-meter-long) camper with bunk beds while the home they had been renting in Cameron Parish undergoes repairs after Hurricane Laura.

The parish — a Louisiana designation similar to a county — comprises small communities on the southwestern coast where residents have lived for generations, either working in the shrimp industry or, more recently, at one of the area’s liquefied natural gas plants.

The region features a stunning, peaceful landscape where families go crabbing together, birds perch on swaying strands of marsh grass, and wind-gnarled oak trees grow on the long ridges — called cheniers — that rise above the marsh. About 70% of the parish is wetlands or open water.

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